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Workers and Volunteers

Child Deaths

The SSP is responsible for collecting and analysing information about the deaths of children and young people (up to the age of 18) in their area. From this information, it is possible to identify patterns and trends and take specific action to prevent some similar deaths in future.

Swindon and Wiltshire s work together on child deaths. This ensures that data is based on a meaningful sample size and that local agencies are able to respond more effectively to child deaths.
The aims of the child death review process are:
  • to learn from all child deaths, enabling changes which may prevent future deaths
  • to standardise the way in which each death is looked at and provide feedback to families as to the causes of death
  • in the rare cases where homicide has occurred, to collect information in a way that prevents unsafe convictions but supports convictions where appropriate
  • to ensure that families are offered bereavement services

'26% of cases, where a judgement could be made, contained avoidable factors . . . In a further 43% of cases there were potentially avoidable factors.' Why Children Die: a Pilot Study 2006, CEMACH

A Flow Chart and Process Guidance detailing the process and useful contact details have been developed for workers. 

Rapid Response

The Rapid Response Team are responsible for:

  • making immediate enquiries into unexpected deaths, including home visits
  • collecting information about these deaths in line with a nationally agreed dataset
  • maintaining contact with the family to keep them up to date with information about the death

Child Death Overview Panel

The Child Death Overview Panel meets regularly to review data on all child deaths in Wiltshire and Swindon, also carrying out more detailed specific or thematic reviews.
It will look at:
  • the appropriateness of professionals’ responses to the unexpected death of a child and involvement prior to that death
  • environmental, social, health and cultural aspects of each death, together with any emerging patterns or trends

The Panel will refer to the LSCB Chair any deaths where they feel there may be grounds for a Serious Case Review and explore why this has not previously been recognised.